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   Re: [xml-dev] RDF for unstructured databases, RDF for axiomatic

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> >
> > > Please, if you are writing a book about RDF, don't say these
> > things because
> > > you are just going to confuse anyone and everyone who believes
> > what you say.
> > > You have a particular obligation to thouroughly read
> > > http://www.w3.org/rdf-mt/ . It is a very well written document.
> >
> > I haven't read the latest draft of that document, but I share
> > your worry about
> > what Shelley's book might say about reification and containers.
> >
> > I ceased using both ages ago because, as many here have pointed
> > out, they are
> > terribly B.A.D.  People cannot be forbidden from using them
> > because in the end
> > they are just regular triples with no special status (i.e. using
> > predicates
> > such as "rdf:subject" and "_1".  But I am glad that in earlier
> > drafts of post
> > RDF-1.0, that even their status in the serialization has been
> > stripped.  I
> > also think that daml:Collection (which I understand has been
> > drafted into RDF)
> > is a much better solution for containers, if not perfect.  For
> > things that RDF
> > M&S originally suggested as applications of reification, as I've said, I
> > instead use blank node constructs or 4RDF scopes.
> >
> > My main point is that if any RDF book covers reification and
> > containers, it
> > should at least tell the user about the very widely expressed warnings
> > problems with these constructs, and the fact that many RDF
> > experts avoid them.
> >  Endless discussion on such topics can be found in the www-rdf-interest
> > archives.
> >
> > Let's not lead RDF newbies into that foetid sinkhole.
> >
> Such concerns for my readers from both you and Jonathan. Warms my heart.

Hmm.  It seems that somehow Jonathan or I touched a raw nerve.  I'm usially 
not squeamish about fillipping nerves, but it wasn't my intent in this case.  
From reading the thread, I thought you were unaware of the issues with 
reification and containers.  I now see that you are indeed aware.

I don't mean to tell you how to write your book.  I write a lot of articles, 
but I'm a confirmed failure at writing a complete book, so I defer to your 
experience in that.  Since you do know both sides of the reification and 
containers discussion, I'm sure you'll present it appropriately.

BTW, I re-read Jonathan's post because I was surprised you said he had made 
personal attacks in it.  I certainly saw no such attacks.

> Some things I've learned from my efforts on several computer books:
> -give people facts, examples, information, and pointers to additional
> sources of same
> -present an unbiased viewpoint of the technology
> -be as accurate as humanly possible
> -admit mistakes where made and rectify
> -answer the questions the readers have before they ask them
> -never talk down to the reader, but never make unwarranted assumptions
> -in a scale of intelligence, with an amoeba is at one end and Einstein at
> the other, put your readers in the middle
> And, above all, keep discussions of politics for books contained in the
> section titled "Books on Politics".

I do think it is important to point out that there are no politics in this 
issue.  It is purely a technical matter.  Some of the very same peoplr who 
designed RDF 1.0 have looked upon refitications and containers as defined 
therein and admitted the great problems with these.  Therefore, I don't see 
how it can be a matter of one group trying to look smarter than the other, or 
NIH syndrome, or any other purely political motivations.

The issues are all technology: reifications and containers are technicaally 
problematic to users and implementors.  And so the viewpoint that discourages 
them certainly deserves a place in a technical book.

Uche Ogbuji                                    Fourthought, Inc.
http://uche.ogbuji.net    http://4Suite.org    http://fourthought.com
Python&XML column: 2. Introducing PyXML - http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/09/25/py.html
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 1 - http://www.webservices.org/index.php/article/articleview/663/1/24/
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services 2 - 'http://www.webservices.org/index.php/article/articleview/679/1/24/
Serenity through markup - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6807
Tip: Using generators for XML processing - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-tipgenr.html


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